Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Dumber: The New York Times' decision to put its columnists behind the Iron Curtain of TimesSelect was dumb. Where once people like Nick Kristof, Paul Krugman and David Brooks played an influential role in the public debate, now they are seldom if ever discussed. Unread, they've become largely irrelevant.
But if that move wasn't bad enough, now the Times has decided that you may not even e-mail any of its TimesSelect columnists unless you are a subscriber to their premium service.
"If you are not a TimesSelect subscriber you won't have access to that e-mail functionality," Times spokesman Toby Usnik confirmed Tuesday. "It centralizes [the columnists' e-mails] around the TimesSelect site."
But instead of being able to put an address in a mail program and firing it off at your leisure, TimesSelect subscribers now have to fill out an online form similar to the generic feedback forms found on many Web sites.
You thought Maureen Dowd was in a bubble before? Now she can't even get e-mails from her sane brother.